Atom – A Hackable Text and Source Code Editor for Linux

Atom is an open-source text and source code editor that was first released in 2014. It is created by GitHub and built on Electron framework, which makes it easily extensible and customizable. Atom is designed to be a hack able editor, which means that it can be modified and configured to suit individual needs.

In this article, we will explore Atom's features and capabilities, as well as how to use it for text and source code editing.

What is Atom?

Atom is a text and source code editor that was developed by GitHub, popular web-based code repository. It's designed to be highly flexible and customizable, allowing developers and programmers to tailor editor to their own unique workflows and coding needs.

One of main features of Atom is its package system. Atom allows users to install and use packages that provide additional functionality and features. These packages can range from simple themes and color schemes to more advanced tools and utilities.

Atom is built on Electron, a framework that enables creation of cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This means that Atom runs on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Features of Atom

Atom has a wide range of features that make it a powerful tool for editing text and source code. Some of its key features include −

Multiple Panes

Atom allows users to split editor into multiple panes, allowing for easy multitasking and comparison between different files.


Atom includes an autocompletion feature that suggests words and phrases as you type, saving time and reducing errors.

Find and Replace

Atom's find and replace function makes it easy to search for specific words or phrases within a document and replace them with new ones.

Syntax Highlighting

Atom automatically highlights different types of code syntax, making it easier to read and understand.

Command Palette

Atom's command palette allows users to quickly search and execute various commands and functions within editor.

Git Integration

Atom has built-in Git integration, allowing users to manage their repositories and track changes directly from editor.

Theming and Customization

Atom allows users to customize editor's appearance and behavior with a wide range of themes, color schemes, and packages.

Why Choose Atom for Linux?

Atom is a top choice for Linux users for several reasons. Here are some of key benefits of using Atom on Linux −


Atom is free and open-source software, which means that users can access and modify source code as needed. This makes it a highly transparent and customizable editor.


Atom runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS, making it a versatile choice for developers who work across multiple platforms.

Package System

Atom's package system allows users to easily extend editor's functionality with additional features and utilities.

Git Integration

Atom's built-in Git integration makes it easy for users to manage their repositories and track changes without leaving editor.


Atom is highly customizable, allowing users to tailor editor to their own unique workflows and coding needs.

Community Support

Atom has a large and active community of users who create and share packages, themes, and other resources. This means that if you're having an issue or need help customizing editor, there are plenty of resources available to you.

Ease of Use

Despite its power and flexibility, Atom is designed to be easy to use and intuitive, even for beginners. Its interface is clean and simple, with helpful tooltips and documentation available for every feature.


Atom is designed to be accessible to users with disabilities, with features such as screen reader support and keyboard navigation.

Active Development

Atom is under active development, with regular updates and improvements being made to editor and its packages.


Atom is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS operating systems. To install Atom on Linux, follow these steps −

Open a terminal window on your Linux system.

Type following command and press Enter −

sudo apt-get update

Type following command and press Enter to download Atom installer −

sudo apt-get install atom

Once installer has finished downloading, type following command and press Enter to launch Atom −

Atom Interface

When you launch Atom for first time, you will see welcome screen, which provides you with several options to get started. You can create a new file, open an existing file, or clone a repository from GitHub.

Atom's interface is divided into several sections. top section contains menu bar, toolbar, and tabs. middle section is editor pane, where you can edit your text or source code. bottom section contains status bar and tree view, which shows directory structure of your project.

Themes and Packages

One of most powerful features of Atom is ability to customize its appearance and functionality through themes and packages. Themes change color scheme and overall look of editor, while packages add new features and functionality.

To change theme of Atom, go to Settings menu and click on Themes. Here, you can browse and install new themes, as well as customize existing ones.

To install a new package, go to Settings menu and click on Install. Here, you can browse and install packages from official Atom package repository, or you can search for packages created by community.

Code Editing

Atom provides several features that make code editing easier and more efficient. For example, it supports syntax highlighting for many programming languages, which means that it will automatically color-code your code according to syntax rules of language you are using.

Atom also provides auto-completion, which means that it will suggest code snippets and function names as you type. This can save you a lot of time and effort, especially when working on large projects.

Another useful feature of Atom is ability to split editor pane into multiple panes. This allows you to view and edit multiple files at once, which can be very useful when working on large projects.

Git Integration

Atom has built-in support for Git, which is a version control system used to track changes in source code. Git integration allows you to manage your code changes directly from Atom interface.

To use Git in Atom, you need to install Git package. Once installed, you can access Git commands from Command Palette. You can also view Git status of your project in tree view.


Atom is a powerful and flexible text and source code editor that can be customized and configured to suit individual needs. Its extensibility and hackability make it a popular choice among developers and programmers. With its built-in Git support, syntax highlighting, and auto-completion features, Atom is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a versatile and efficient text and source code editor.